Friday, 30 October 2015

Having something of value


You may know that I volunteer as the Commercial Manager at Didcot Town Football Club. The club were this week awarded Live TV coverage of their next FA Cup game due to being the lowest ranked minnows left in the competition. So on the 8th November we play Exeter City, live on BT Sport at midday.

For me it has been an interesting week speaking to people about sponsorship packages in relation to the match and negotiating the packages that suit a win / win situation.

However it has highlighted the fact you will read or hear many times. We all have to ensure we have something of value in our offering from the eyes of our prospective customer.

Selling sponsorship opportunities has been a tough task this season with as you would expect the question "well what's in it for me". You have to have tough skin and be prepared for many slammed doors. All good experience! At times, it has been hard to gain £50 from some business owners who don't really have a brand to promote and can't describe their business quickly enough to display with value on a pitchside banner or in a tannoy announcement.

That in itself is a learn for me. We talk about the one minute elevator pitch, but is that too long? We should perhaps focus more on a short, attention attracting, headline or strapline that grabs the attention and gives us the right to give our one minute pitch.

However the biggest reminder this week came when we were given TV rights with BT Sport, because from that point for many the price was not an issue. We even had one sponsor turn up at the ground with his advertising board and said just charge me what you think is fair to display this board. He had previously declined my approach one month ago as he perceived the club had nothing to offer him with attendences around 100-150. However as soon as we are expecting 2800 for one game with TV coverage then he wanted to be part of it.

When you have something that is truly valued and providing a unique opportunity to receive, then you can command a premium price. We usually charge £300 for a banner on pitch side for the whole season (maybe 35 games). For this one, live televised, game we are charging a minimum £750 and I have not had one objection.

So what are you offering your prospects that they truly value and then enables you to command a premium price?

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